Breakthrough discoveries cannot change the world if they do not leave the lab
The Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering uses biological design principles to develop new engineering innovations that will transform medicine and create a more sustainable world.
Inspired by Nature
At the Wyss Institute, we leverage recent insights into how Nature builds, controls and manufactures to develop new engineering innovations - a new field of research we call Biologically Inspired Engineering. By emulating biological principles of self assembly, organization and regulation, we are developing disruptive technology solutions for healthcare, energy, architecture, robotics, and manufacturing, which are translated into commercial products and therapies through formation of new startups and corporate alliances.
We have 8 major Focus Areas.
Bioinspired Therapeutics & Diagnostics
Therapeutic discovery and diagnostics development enabled by microsystems engineering, molecular engineering, computational design, and organ-on-a-chip in vitro human experimentation technology.
An initiative enabling the creation of new diagnostic technologies that solve high-value clinical problems through deep collaboration between the Wyss Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Candidate diagnostics will be driven by clinicians’ unmet needs, advanced in the Wyss Institute’s biomarker discovery and technology development labs, and validated in BWH’s CLIA lab, providing crucial clinical data to move them from the bench to the bedside faster.
Material-based systems capable of modulating immune cells ex vivo and in the human body to treat or diagnose disease.
Living Cellular Devices
Re-engineered living cells and biological circuits as programmable devices for medicine, manufacturing and sustainability.
Self-assembling molecules that can be programmed like robots to carry out specific tasks without requiring power.
3D Organ Engineering
Highly functional, multiscale, vascularized organ replacements that can be seamlessly integrated into the body.
Computational approaches that apply the power of machine learning, neural networks, and other algorithmic architectures to complex problems in biology, generating faster, better insights and driving innovation.
Breakthrough approaches to reading, writing and editing nucleic acids and proteins for multiple applications, varying from healthcare to data storage.
Our Translation Model
Through our Innovation Funnel, we harness the creative freedom of academia to generate a pipeline of new ideas and potential breakthrough technologies; enable our staff with product development experience to prototype, mature and de-risk these technologies; and leverage our internal business development team, intellectual property experts, and entrepreneurs-in-residence to drive commercialization, through industrial partnerships, licensing agreements, and the creation of startups.
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Collaboration at a Higher Level
Our scientists, engineers and clinicians, who come from Harvard's Schools of Medicine, Engineering, Arts & Sciences, and Design as well as 12 collaborating academic institutions and hospitals, work alongside staff with industrial experience in product development to engineer transformative solutions to some of the world’s greatest problems.